Importance of Sleep
After the food we put into our body, sleep is the most important thing that we do. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being and getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health and quality of life.
Studies have shown that poor sleep has strong links to weight gain, higher risk of heart disease, depression and reduces your ability to interact socially. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.
1. Increase Light Exposure During The Day
Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. Natural sunlight or bright lights during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration
2. Reduce Blue Light Exposure in the Evening
Blue light is something which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts and tricking your brain into thinking it is still daytime. This reduces hormones like melatonin, which helps you relax and get deep sleep. This means its best to not use phone, laptops etc an hour before bed. So try to avoid binge watching narcos on Netflix before bed.
3. Exercise during the day
Exercising is great for your body and mind and it can also help you get a good night’s sleep. Physical activity creates more adenosine in the brain, and adenosine makes us feel sleepy. Working out also helps you maintain your circadian rhythm (that is, your body’s internal clock), Winter says. Exercise helps your body to understand the schedule it’s on; and morning exercise primes your body to sleep better at night.
4. Don’t Consume Caffeine Late in the Day
When consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. In one study, consuming caffeine up to six hours before bed significantly worsened sleep quality. Therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3 or 4 p.m. is not recommended.
5. Reduce alcohol intake
Everyone likes a few pints but downing a couple of drinks at night can negatively affect your sleep and hormones. Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.
6. Optimise Your Bedroom Environment
To optimise your bedroom environment, try to minimise external noise, light and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place. A Himalayan salt lamp can be a nice addition to your bed room and provides a nice calming light.
7. Don’t eat to late in the evening
Late-night eating may negatively impact both sleep quality and the natural release of HGH and melatonin. That means eating a large Dominos at 10 p.m. may be a recipe for insomnia. Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion.
Personally one of my key routines before bed is to take a few drops of CBD about 1 hour to 40 minutes before bed. This I feel helps stop my mind racing and leads to a much deeper well rested sleep.
9. Relax and Clear Your Mind in the Evening
After a heavy day at work it can be hard to unwind and relax. Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality. This can be as simple as listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath or meditating. Try out different methods and find what works best for you.
10. Don’t Drink Any Liquids Before Bed
Staying hydrated is vital for your health, but it is wise to reduce your fluid intake in the late evening. Having to wake up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom will negatively impact your sleep quality and daytime energy.